tv CBS News Sunday Morning CBS July 19, 2009 9:00am-10:30am EDT
captioning sponsored by cbs and johnson & johnson, where quality products for the american family have been a tradition for generations. good morning. charles osgood is off today. i'm anthony mason and this is sunday morning. if our greeting seems a little muted this morning, it's because all of us here at cbs news are still mourning the loss of walter cronkite, who died friday night at the age of 92. for millions of american families in the 1960s, '70s and early '80s watching walter cronkite and the "cbs evening news" was a nightly ritual. that's the way it was back then. martha teichner will report our cover story. >> the flash apparently official. president kennedy died at 1:00 p.m.. >> reporter: it's hard to remember the assassination of president kennedy without remembering the way walter cronkite reported it. or the first man on the moon. >> from the cbs news control
center. >> reporter: there's a reason why he was considered the most trusted man in america.& our tribute to walter cronkite this sunday morning. >> mason: no account of walter cronkite's life and times would be complete without hearing him tell the story in his own words. fortunately walter did just that a few years ago in a talk with our own charles osgood. >> osgood: although he was once told that he didn't have the voice to make it a big league broadcaster, walter cronkite had a career any journalist might envy, but there was a time when the most trusted man in america could have pursued a very different vocation. >> your dad was a dentist. >> my dad was a dentist. my grandfather was a dentist. my uncle was a dentist. >> osgood: and you decided to be the first in a long line of dentists to do something else. >> yeah. i thought i'd rather look in the horse's mouth and get the truth rather than people's mouths. >> osgood: later on sunday morning, walter cronkite straight from the horse's mouth. >> mason: by his own
estimation the biggest story walter cronkite ever covered was the one small step astronaut neal armstrong took 40 years ago tomorrow as part of an unprecedented mission. >> lift-off. we have a lift-off. 32 minutes past the hour. >> mason: they were eight days in july that were truly out of this world. >> this is the flight from which man will first set foot on the moon. >> base here. the eagle has landed. >> mason: and no one was more dazzled than walter cronkite. our tour guide for man's first steps on the moon. >> one small step for man but i didn't get the second phrase. >> mason: coming up one small step, one stellar event. >> beautiful, just beautiful. >> mason: nearly everyone knows about walter cronkite's spirited coverage of space exploration. fewer know that it was because of cronkite that america first came to meet the beatles.
katie couric will tell the story of john, paul, george, ringo and walter. >> ladies and gentlemen, the beatles. ( cheers and applause ) ♪ close your eyes... >> couric: most people think the beatles made their television debut on the ed sullivan show in 1964. >> the beatles were american television for the first time not as history seems to have it recorded on the ed sullivan show but on the "cbs evening news" with walter cronkite. if there's some credit in history for that, i want it. >> couric: beatle mania and walter cronkite later on sunday morning. >> mason: mark strassmann will tell us what's next for the manned space program walter cronkite loved so much. we'll be hearing from many of his colleagues and contemporaries, from moral an safer to actor george clooney toed to cop he will who explains how cronkite came to be america's town cryer. president obama among others will share his thoughts about the end of a broadcasting era.
and more. first here are the headlines for sunday morning, the 19th of july, 2009. two light rail trains collided yesterday afternoon in san francisco. at least 47 people were taken to hospitals. four with serious injuries. the crash is the third major transit accident in the united states since may. the taliban has released pictures of an american soldier the group captured last month in afghanistan. the pentagon has not yet released the name of the missing servicemen who reportedly walked away from his base on june 30. on the tape he talks about how much he misses his family in america and says he's scared he'll never see them again. the u.s. military confirmed the man to be the missing soldier and condemned the video as propaganda. as you've just heard tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of mankind's great step. >> quality base here. the eagle has landed. >> mason: on july 20, 1969, neal armstrong and buzz aldrin
became the first persons to set foot on the moon. armstrong, aldrin and their apollo 11 cool mate michael collins will bs honored by president obama tomorrow at the white house. he lived through the great war and then came home and enjoyed a good, long life. the world's oldest man englishman henry allingham died at the age of 113. the world war i veteran spent his later years working to remind younger generations of the millions killed in that conflict. russian cyclist won the 14th stage of the tour de france while american lance armstrong slipped into fourth place overall eight seconds behind. yesterday's leg of the tour was marred by the death of a woman who was struck by a policeman on a motorcycle as she tried to cross the road. 59-year-old american tom watson seems to have regained his youthful form at the british open. the five-time open champion has a one-stroke lead after three rounds. if he goes on to victory, watson will be the oldest player ever to win a major golf tournament.
now today's weather. blistering heat and thunderstorms will continue in the south and west while the east and west coasts can look forward to a mild july day. the week ahead will see a lot of rain falling in the east and most of the country can expect slightly cooler temperatures. from high above the earth yesterday, a special tribute to walter cronkite. >> we did want to salute mr. cronkite and offer our best wishes and condolences to his family. >> mason: technicians at nasa mission control watched as astronauts aboard the international space station paused at the start of their space walk to salute our former colleague. the commander of the shuttle endeavor mark pulan skchlt ki said kron pit's report on the space program inspire him to become an astronaut. >> good evening from the cbs news control center. >> mason: coming up. >> and that's the way it is and that's the way it is. that's the way it is. that's the way it is.
>> he was the broadcaster for whom the word anchorman was coined. veteran cbs newsman walter cronkite died friday evening at the age of 92. walter cronkite play add role in our national life like no other broadcast journalist. and all the rest of us are still following in his footsteps. martha teichner offers this appreciation. >> good evening from the cbs news control center in new york. this is walter cronkite reporting.
>> ohio river system is out of its banks from pennsylvania to illinois. >> reporter: for nearly 0 years one man told americans that's the way it is. >> and that's the way it is. >> that's the way it is. >> and that's the way it is. >> and that's the way it is. >> reporter: and they believed him. >> legalized abortion. >> a flurry of activity at the jack ruby trial. >> a meltdown at the three mile island atomic power plant. >> reporter: one of cronkite's earliest producers don hulett, creator of "60 minutes." >> what made walter cronkite walter cronkite? i can no more tell you that than i can tell you what made spencer tracy or cary grant cary grant. >> reporter: years before there was such a thing as a tv anchorman, while cronkite was still a combat reporter in world war ii working for a wire service, it was already clear he had something. >> i'm just back from the biggest assignment that any american reporter could have so far in this war.
>> reporter: this is is from an old movie news reel. >> by american troops. >> it was my first time on camera. i just fell into whatever it is i do naturally. i never took any elocution lessons, no diction lessons. i might have been a pretty decent broadcaster if i had. what you see, i'm afraid, is what you get. >> hello, everyone. here we are again in studio a, our cbs television control point. >> reporter: what edward r.murrow got in 1950 when he asked cronkite to work for cbs news was a first-rate reporter, a newspaper man with some radio experience just as television news.... >> good evening, everyone. here is the news. >> reporter:... was being born. >> in the really good people that we had didn't want to do television. >> reporter:. >> reporter: radio was still dominant then. >> they actually felt it was below them. it was some kind of show business which it was and is. but they weren't going to play the game at all. and then they found out that
it was important and it had an impact beyond what they had expected. >> reporter: cronkite was with charles osgood on sunday morning in 1997. >> by that time i had gotten myself fully nailed down in television. they didn't have a chance. not because i was better but because i was there. >> reporter: cronkite was always there, wherever the biggest story in the world happened to be. and like a father or uncle, seemed to be there for us. >> here is a bulletin from cbs news. >> there has been attempt, as perhaps you know now, on the life of president kennedy. he was wounded. >> reporter: it was how he told people what happened. on november 22, 1963. >> from dallas, texas, the flash apparently official. president kennedy died at 1:00 p.m. central standard time. 2:00 eastern standard time. some 38 minutes ago.
vice president lyndon johnson has left the hospital. >> reporter: for a flicker of a moment that day, viewers glimpsed the man as well as the consummate journalist and sensed they could trust walter cronkite to tell them bad news. >> the investigation.... >> reporter: former cbs news anchor dan rather covered the kennedy assassination in dallas. >> and i think that the day president kennedy died was the day that television news, as we now know it, was born for all intents and purposes. and walter cronkite was a very important part of making it so. >> the day of ultimate mourning as the body of the late president john fitzgerald kennedy is laid to rest at arlington national cemetery. >> it was an establishing moment.... >> reporter: charles gibson anchors abc's "world news
tonight." >> ...in that it established when momentous events occur and the country is deeply shaken, they gather at the television set. that is sort of the national meeting place. >> the finality of it overwhelmed me. this said, "it's all true." it had happened. it was over. it was done. we're about to bury it, bury something of our past along with that man. john-john saluting. anchormen shouldn't cry. >> reporter: and he never did on the air. >> good evening from paris. reporting from moscow. from the great wall of china.
>> reporter: the dignity and composure he brought to his job, the gift of plain speaking. his honesty. eventually these gave walter cronkite the power to change history. >> i went to vietnam for the first time in 1965, and i flew with the b-57s on an operation. >> 1, 2, 3, 4. we dropped our bombs and now we pull out of the dive. >> well, colonel, it's a great way to go to war. >> in the early stages of our involvement in vietnam, basically i felt that our course was right. my concern grew with the concern of the american people. >> hell, no, we won't go. >> here's, for example, remarks by cronkite before the houston world affairs council in january of '65. >> reporter: cronkite's personal papers which he gave to the university of texas make clear just how quickly
his concern took shape. >> he's not doing this on television but here he's calling vietnam a seemingly bottomless pit, the insoluble quandary of vietnam. >> reporter: his historian and cbs news consultant douglas brinkley is write ago biography of walter cronkite. >> i don't want to make him seem as if in '65 he was an anti-war person, per se, but this is a public remark. he's saying this is an insoluble quandary. >> reporter: he went back to vietnam in 1965 after the tet offensive. >> these are the kind of reporter notebooks he kept. this one is vietnam, tet offensive. he always puts his sources, exactly where he's getting his information from. he would just turn. look how neat. >> reporter: meticulous. >> yes. >> reporter: cronkite the meticulous reporter came home convinced the war was unwinnable and said so. >> i simply told people what i
thought about the state of the war in vietnam. it was that we had better get out of it. >> increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate not as victors but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy and did the best they could. >> lyndon johnson was sitting at a television set that night and said, "if i've lost walter cronkite, i've lost the american people." >> and johnson kind of melted in sorrow when this happened and realized that his presidency had failed and that cronkite had called him out on it. >> i shall not seek and i will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your president. >> good evening. >> reporter: 1968, the american people got a lot of bad news that year. walter cronkite broke it to them.
>> good evening. dr. martin luther king, the apostle of non-violence in the civil rights movement has been shot to death in memphis, tennessee. >> my thanks to all of you. >> reporter: then robert kennedy was shot. >> at the age of 42, robert francis kennedy was dead. >> with this display of enthusiasm in the hall, there has been a display of naked violence. >> reporter: at the democratic national convention in chicago that summer.... >> the police are coming in. >> reporter:... all hell broke loose. >> take your hands off me unless you plan to arrest me. >> reporter: and walter cronkite let his anger show. >> walter, as you can see, i think we've got a bunch of thugs here, dan. >> i lost my temper at that moment. sometimes i think it's perfectly legitimate for an anchor person or a news person on a air to let people know he's got a few feelings of his own. >> that's it. apollo 11, the beginning of man's greatest adventure. >> reporter: it was his uwe
foria, cronkite let show the following year. >> on the way to the moon. >> reporter: in the apollo 11 astronauts went to the moon. >> base here. the eagle has landed. >> oh, boy. boy! >> reporter: it's impossible to think of nasa and the space program without thinking of walter cronkite. >> i think that our conquest of space, as it were, is one of the great stories of the 20th century. and it did become, i'm happy to say, my story. executing a maneuver to make it and everyone in it temporarily weightless. >> the greatest disappointment in my life. >> reporter: this is what cronkite said at the age of 80. >> if they offered me a chance to go tomorrow, if i thought i could pass the physical, i'd go. but i'd still see the opportunity as a glass half empty. i wasn't getting to go to the
moon. >> reporter: in just about every other way, his life was a glass filled to the brim when he wasn't doing the work he loved he was sailing. he adored his wife of 65 years. from the moment he laid on her in 1936 at a radio station in kansas city. >> her name was betsy maxwell. i was for some strange reason rather shy about meeting her. and the two of us were suddenly cast in a commercial. the producer said you're girl. you're boy. here, let's go. and the announcer set a scene in kansas city. i say, hello, angel, what heaven did you drop from? girl. . i'm no angel. boy: you look like an angel. girl: that's because i use richard hudnut cosmetics. the spark took.
we went together for several years and finally married in 1940. >> reporter: betsy cronkite died in 2005. >> don't get nervous, for heaven's sake. >> reporter: for 15 of the 19 years walter cronkite anchored the "cbs evening news," he demolished the competition in the ratings. in poll after poll, he was voted the most trusted man in america. there were even suggestions that he run for president. cronkite said it wouldn't be appropriate. >> this is my last broadcast as the anchorman of the "cbs evening news". >> reporter: walter cronkite was so much more than what we think of today as an anchorman. it seemed inconceiveable that he would ever retire but he did in 1981. >> good night. >> reporter: "60 minutes" correspondent morley safer. >> i had dinner with him that night. he said i think maybe i'm making a terrible mistake. >> reporter: or maybe not.
he left on a high just as the snug three network realm he presided over was beginning to fracture into the multiple choice mayhem television news has become. >> this country has lost an icon and a dear friend. and he will be truly missed. >> reporter: at some level cronkite had to have understood the uniqueness of his legacy. he saved everything. >> look over here. i mean we have to get them shipped in from a warehouse. >> reporter: this is a.... >> beyond tip of the iceberg. this is the tip of the tip of the iceberg. it's box after box after box and you ask what surprised me the most is just how much cronkite-iana there is. >> reporter: this letter says it all. >> dear walter. >> reporter: it's from the late lady bird johnson, wife of the president cronkite helped to bring down. >> i believe i can say in all certainty you are a national hero. you are unabashedly one of
mine. >> reporter: it's hard to imagine that anyone man could ever speak for the nation now. the fact that walter cronkite did is truly remarkable. >> this is walter cronkite. good night. >> at first it was called the walter gate caper. >> mason: ahead, walter cronkite. >> who ordered the wire taps? >> anthony: watergate and a white house under siege. the chevy open house. where getting a new vehicle is easy. because the price on the tag is the price you pay on remaining '08 and '09 models. you'll find low, straightforward pricing. it's simple. now get an '09 malibu 1lt with an epa estimated 33 mpg highway. get it now for around 21 thousand after all offers.
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and try new simply ageless sculpting blush to bring out your cheekbones. >> from cbs news headquarters in washington, this is the "cbs evening news" with walter cronkite. >> mason: now a page from our sunday morning almanac. july 19, 1974. 35 years ago today. another chapter in the long tangled tale of watergate. >> good evening. the democratic council for the house judiciary kmirty, john door, said today the evidence warrants the impeachment of president nixon. >> reporter: the watergate scandal was building rapidly towards its climax and walter cronkite was reporting the developments of the day as even handedly as ever. >> there was swift white house reaction. the impeachment inquiry the white house declared is a one- sided kangaroo court. >> reporter: cronkite and his cbs news colleagues had been covering the 1972 watergate
break-in and its after math for more than two years by then. >> no longer a caper but the watergate affair. >> reporter: in october of '72 cronkite made television news history by devoting major parts of two evening broadcasts to extended reports on watergate. >> who ordered the wire taps? >> reporter: including large- scale graphics to trace the scandal in all its complicated elements. >> how was the information used? >> reporter: cronkite continued to report every twist and turn of the case. >> i shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. >> reporter: right up to president nixon's departure from office on august 9 of 1974. >> our long national nightmare is over, mr. ford said. >> reporter: in retrospect the addition of the "cbs evening news" walter cronkite anchored 35 years ago today was nothing extraordinary. just typical of the job he did in the anchor chair every day for 19 years.
>> and that's the way it is. friday july 19, 1974. this is walter cronkite cbs news reporting from washington. good night. >> beautiful, just beautiful. >> mason: just ahead the men on the moon. >> there it is. a u.s. flag on the surface of the moon. >> mason: and the man over the moon. i felt this deep lingering pain that was a complete mystery to me. my doctor diagnosed it as fibromyalgia muscle pain and then he recommended lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of over-active nerves that cause chronic, widespread pain. lyrica is fda-approved to help relieve the unique pain of fibromyalgia. and with less pain, i can do more during my day. how sweet is that? lyrica is not for everyone. tell you doctor about any serious allergic reaction that causes swelling or affects breathing or skin, or changes eyesight including blurry vision
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manned space program. that great adventure peaked 40 years ago tomorrow with one small step by astronaut neal armstrong. the step that brought the very first man to the surface of the moon. we take a few moments now to revisit the remarkable days and amazing images of the mission of apollo 11. >> i believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. >> cbs news presents "man on the moon." the epic journey of apollo 11. here from cbs news apollo headquarters at kennedy space center correspondent walter cronkite. >> good morning. it's t minus one hour 29 minutes and 53 seconds and
counting. in just an hour-and-a-half if all goes well, apollo 11 astronauts armstrong, aldrin and collins are to lift off from pad 39-a out there on the voyage man always has dreamed about. next stop for them, the moon. >> 10, 9, ignition sequence starts. 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. 0. all engines running. lift-off. 32 minutes past the hour. lift-off on apollo 11. >> it looks good. the building is shaking. we're getting that buffeting we've become used to. what a moment. on the way to the moon.
>> so we've seen another beautiful saturn launch, but this one will never be known in history or by those of us who watched it as just another saturn-5 launch. not if all goes well because this is the flight from which man will first set foot on the moon. we almost glibly toss that line away now. man on the moon. by golly, just think it over. >> that's a great shot right there. >> at this point they were 203,000 miles from the earth. >> hello there, earthlings. >> if that's not the earth we're in trouble. >> mason: four days after launch, july 20, 1969, the
apollo 11 command ship columbia was orbiting the moon with michael collins at the helm. while neal armstrong and buzz aldrin began their descent in the lube or module. >> apollo 11, everything going well for a landing on the moon, three hours, 21 minutes and 14 seconds from now. >> ready to copy. >> delta landing over. >> oh, great go. one of the better go's i've heard in a long time. >> landing on the moon. >> 30 seconds. >> we're home. >> man on the moon! >> houston, base here. the eagle has landed. >> turang quilt we copy you on
the ground. you have a bunch of guys about to turn blue. we're breathing again. thanks a lot. >> (laughing) oh, boy. >> thank you. >> there he is. there's a foot coming down the steps. armstrong is on the moon. neal armstrong. 38 year old american standing on the surface of the moon. on this july 20, 1969. >> that's one small step for man. one giant leap for mankind. >> one small step for man but i didn't get the second phrase. that's one small step for man. one giant leap for mankind. >> there you go. >> welcome home. >> and now we have two americans on the moon.
>> beautiful, beautiful. >> (laughing) they're taking the cover off of the stainless steel plaque. >> we haven't read the plaque. we'll read the plaque that's on the front landing gear of this. from the planet earth who have set foot upon the moon july 1969, a.d. we came in peace for all mankind. >> there it is. a u.s. flag on the surface of the moon. >> beautiful. just beautiful. >> that flag is on a frame. there is no wind to hold it out like that, of course. 3 x 5 flag. it's got a frame of its own to hold it out.
>> neal and buzz, the president of the united states is in his office now and would like to say a few words to you. over. >> go ahead, mr. president. this is houston, out. >> hello, neal and buzz. because of what you have done, the heavens have become a part of man's world. >> thank you, mr. president. >> the first tourists on the moon. from their description it sounds like some place we might want to go after all. aldrin called it magnificent desolation. armstrong "stark beauty all its own." >> for thousands of years now it's been man's dream to walk on the moon. right now after seeing it happen, knowing that it happened, it still seems like a dream and it is, i guess, a dream come true. >> mason: their lunar explorations completed astronauts armstrong and aldrin were ready for
potentially the most hazardous part of their voyage, the ascent from the moon's surface back to the orbiting columbia space craft. >> man has landed on the moon. today the second half of the mission begins. return him safely. this engine, the lunar module has been fired. it's a 3500-pound thrust engine to get this first test and it's got to work today. if armstrong and aldrin are to return home safely. >> beautiful. >> the engines are firing. they're on the way. >> 1,000 feet high. 80 feet per second vertical rise. >> oh, boy. hot diggity dog. yes, sir.
>> there's not much that can go wrong now on the way home. splashdown is the next big event. that comes thursday shortly after noon. they're seeing this glowing reentry like a comet coming back to the earth's atmosphere. >> they're back from the moon. astronauts armstrong, aldrin and collins landing in the pacific ocean southwest of hawaii. >> apollo 11 is back from the moon safe and sound. the crew is resting in their command module there on the surface of the pacific. they're in fine shape aboard the aircraft carrier hornet. president nixon is waiting to greet them. man's dream and a nation's
pledge have now been fulfilled. the lunar age has begun. we may hope and we should not believe in the excitement of today that the next trip or the ones to follow will be particularly easy but we have begun with a small step for man and a giant leap for mankind. armstrong's unforgettable words. the date is now indelible. it will be remember as long as man survives. july 20, 1969. the day man reached and walked on the moon. the least of us is improved by the things done by the best of us because if we are not able to land at least we are able to follow. armstrong, aldrin and collins are the best of us. and they've led us further and higher than we ever imagined we were likely to go.
>> ted baxter, walter cronkite. (loofing) >> it's an honor to meet you, mr. cronkite. >> call me walter. >> (laughing). >> it's sunday morning on cbs and here again is anthony mason. >> mason: it's a bit of television sit-com history. walter cronkite's guest appearance as himself on the highly rated mary tyler moore show back in 1974. some observations on the man and his reputation now from former abc "nightline" anchor ted koppel. >> i heard this story from a cbs producer who claims to have witnessed it. walter and betsy, his wife of many years, had just taken their seats aboard a commercial airliner. the flight attendant came over
and asked walter what his name was. "kron kite" he said with that little smile of his that was also meant to convey you're going to feel a little silly in a moment when it hits you. cronkite, the flight attendant repeated. can you spell that for me. walter turned to betsy and said you're just loving this, aren't you? betsy probably put the flight attendant up to it in the first place. the fact is that there was a time when nobody in this country didn't know who walter cronkite was. he was our national town cryer, the 20th century equivalent of the fellow in immediate evil times who walked the streets and yelled 7:00 and all is well. or who explained what had gone wrong if all wasn't well. what's more, you had the feeling that absent television or radio, walter would have been perfectly happy distributing the news door to door.
walter cronkite was the man for whom the term anchor was created. really. it was during the run-up to the political conventions in 1952 and there's some debate over who gets the credit, someone on the production team decided that they there to be a title to describe the fellow sitting at the desk. pulling it altogether, holding it all in place. isn't that, after all, what walter did all those years? hold it altogether? held it all in place. walter cronkite, america's anchor. and that's the way it was. >> mason: next, the beatles are coming.
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broadcast of record. >> couric: beatle mania was well underway in the u.k. >> we were offered a piece by a london bureau of this phenomenon. so we put it on the air one night. >> couric: that night was december 10, 1963. ♪ she loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah ♪ >> meanwhile, yeah, yeah, yeah, the fan mail keeps rolling in and so does the money. >> they have sold 2.5 million records. they lead the hit parade. >> what has occurred to you to& why you've succeeded? >> i don't know really. as you say, the records. >> couric: despite the hysteria their mostly female fans, it wasn't clear then just how long the beatles' success would last. >> do you have any fears that your public eventually will get tired of you and move on to a new favorite? >> they probably will. >> did you ever think about that. >> it depends how long it takes for them to get tired. >> couric: ed sullivan was
watching that story. right after the newscast, he called walter cronkite. >> we were good friends. ed said, walter, walter, tell me about those kids. tell me about those kids. what kids, ed? those kids you just had on the air. what do you call them? the bugs or the beatles or something? >> ladies and gentlemen, the beatles. (screaming) ♪ close your eyes and i'll kiss you ♪ > that performance came two months after their debut on the "cbs evening news". >> there's some credit in history for that, i want it. we were invited back stage for that first appearance. i was to take my two teen-aged daughters. >> the beatles were everything. they were everything for girls my age at that time. to be able to even just see them perform much less meet them was outrageous. >> i don't think up to that time they really cared very much what their father did. suddenly i was a hero in their eyes. ♪
how closely did the walter cronkite americans saw on tv match the real walter cronkite who lived and worked off camera? early show anchor talked about that with the man who currently runs sony but not all that long ago was president of cbs news, sir howard stringer. >> reporter: define walter cronkite. >> i think a man completely at peace with himself and comfortable in his own skin. cary grant once said i wish i had been cary grant. walter cronkite would never have said that. walter was always walter cronkite, comfortable with himself.
no inner turmoil very, very good at what he did. he made it look deceptively easy which is what the great ones do. when i was on the road with him, we always looked forward to the evening because you could have a better time with walter cronkite than anybody. you could go sit in the restaurant and drink a glass of wine had him until the small hours. he was as much fun as you could imagine. no art i physician. just i'm walter cronkite and i'm having fun. >> how big of an era was the walter cronkite era at the cbs news. >> it was an era in which the stars of news were wonderful writers and wonderful broadcasters. he sat there at the top of the pyramid representing the authority and credibility of news at a time when it was really needed it. everybody watched the evening news then. so he was the focal point of an entire nation during a critical time, during vietnam not just the moon landing but you remember that he was there when the streets were rioting. he was at the chicago convention. his authority and his calmness held the nation together, not
only cbs news. he held the nation together during critical times. >> did cbs make a mistake by making him retire at 65? >> well, that was a difficult time. i mean abc was chasing dan rather. so there were some anxiety that walter would eventually retire in the next three or four years and dan rather would have time to build his reputation to abc news. walter saw the logic of it which is why he agreed. if walter had not agreed nobody would have dared take him off the air. his last week he had a 29 share. he could have got a 29 share reading the phone book. i told him that once. i think it was tough for him. if i was walter cronkite i would say i would have done that for five more years. >> what will his legacy be? >> the sum of his experience as a reporter, as a broadcaster all sort of co-ago lated into that vision of the anchorman that no one can
really surpass. i mean, you say that when people die. but the truth is there was nothing between him and the audience. no screen, no camera lens. no nothing. he was in the living room. that's a skill that nature bestows along with experience. very hard to duplicate. hundreds of anchormen have done that. women and men sat there and read a prompter and never have been able to quite exude the authority, the calmness, the credibility and the he's of persona as walter did. remarkable man. remarkable!
the eagle has landed. >> reporter: when men first walked on the moon half a billion people, one sixth of the earth's population watched in awe. for two hours neal armstrong and buzz aldrin explored the lunar landscape. >> tell me if you have a picture here. >> we have a beautiful picture, neal. >> reporter: 40 years later aldrin remembers it vividly. >> it's not beautiful. it's magnificent desolation. magnificent achievement for humanity. >> reporter: that achievement provided the raw material for research that continues today in this rarely scene nasa lab. behind a steel vault door moon rocks. the building blocks of our solar system. older than rocks on earth. snapshots of how and when planets and moons were formed. gary lofgren is is nasa's lunar curator. >> when they found out this rock was 3.9 billion years that was a big deal. >> reporter: since the apollo day s when the control room
came alive nasa has come a long way but its mission today is less clear. is it the moon, mars and should humans go at all? nasa believes the moon is the crucial next step. its mandate: return people there by 2020. this time two rockets would launch to carry heavier loads. one carrying astronauts, the other cargo. in low earth orbit the capsule carrying the astronauts and the lunar lander would dock. after four days of travel all four astronauts would land on the moon. for a week they would try to learn whether it's possible to live off the land in space. for instance, the moon's poles may contain ice, a possible source of water, oxygen and hydrogen. their space suits attached to the exterior of the lunar rover. from inside astronauts could step in or step out of their suits. jeff handily leads nasa's new system of space craft called constellation. >> we're trying to go anywhere.
we're trying to stay twice as long with twice as many people. >> reporter: but critics including the second man on the moon say nasa must go to places people have never gone before. >> that's a little bit different than neal and buzz kicking up dust on the moon. i think we owe them something more than that. >> tell me if you have.... >> reporter: ultimately america has to make hard choices about how much risk to take and how much we're willing to spend. just a trip to the moon would cost an estimated $100 billion. as once again nasa makes the case for space and the next giant leap for man. >> whatever price the communists paid for this offensive.... >> we knew it was a chance we were taking and a violation of all the rules of the game. >> reporter: in his own words. and later....
>> he was just dedicated to news. he really cared. >> reporter: the world remembers. living with copd... but i try not to let it slow me down. i go down to the pool for a swim... get out and dance... even play a little hide-n-seek. i'm breathing better... with spiriva. announcer: spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled maintenance treatment for both forms of copd... which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. i take it every day. it keeps my airways open... to help me breathe better all day long. and it's not a steroid. announcer: spiriva does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. stop taking spiriva and call your doctor if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, or have vision changes or eye pain. tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, problems passing urine or an enlarged prostate, as these may worsen with spiriva. also discuss the medicines you take, even eye drops. side effects may include dry mouth, constipation and trouble passing urine. every day could be a good day to breathe better.
>> it's sunday morning on cbs and here again is anthony mason. >> mason: we've heard a lot about walter cronkite this morning from his friends and colleagues and admirers. time now to hear walter cronkite's story in his own words as told a while back to our own charles osgood. >> osgood: about a decade ago i spent an afternoon chatting with walter cronkite about his just published autobiography. >> thank you very much. >> osgood: a chance to learn a little about the man we had all spent so much time watching on tv. your dad was a dentist. >> my dad was a dentist. my grandfather was a dentist. my uncle was a dentist. >> osgood: you decided to be the first in a long line of dentists to do something else. >> i thought i would rather look in the horse's mouth and get the truth rather than people's mouths. >> under water obstacles that made omaha the toughest of the beaches as it was? >> well, of course, that's part of it. >> only hot war we have running at the moment is of course the one in vietnam.
>> i don't think that unless a greater effort is made by the government to win.... >> osgood: you always refer to yourself as "this reporter." when did you know in your life that that is what you wanted to be? >> very early on. i was directed in journalism, if you please, by a series of short stories in american boy magazine. and the one that hit me most intriguingly was that of the newspaper man. >> osgood: so many of the pioneers of television, world war ii gave cronkite his biggest break, the chance to report under fire. >> i'm just back from the biggest assignment that any american reporter could have so far in this war. >> i volunteered to be front line correspondent, to be out there where the shot and shell was. i made a few missions. i was there a lot of the time. >> the planes and gliders will split into two routes, northern and southern.
otherwise the column will string so long enemy fighters will be able to get up in time to attack the rear. or be so wide that they can hardly miss. it is a day this reporter cannot forget. >> those gliders were built of aluminum tubing with canvas skins. the canvas cover beat against the aluminum. it was like being inside the drum of a grateful dead concert. over the drop zone the second supply. the tow rope was dropped and down we went. no glide. the plunge almost straight down. the dirt came pouring in. our helmets went flying off. >> this is the largest group carrier operation undertaken by the u.s. army air force. >> cronkite was there on d-day in june of 1944 when the allies swept across the english channel into france and began to turn the war around. later he did a tour in moscow as a wire service reporter. and then came home to discover television. >> hello, everyone.
here we are again in studio-a our cbs television control point for the westinghouse& coverage. >> reporter: with his characteristic modesty cronkite always attributed his success in television to his simply having gotten there first. he had no reservations about the potential of the new medium. >> good evening from the "cbs evening news" control center in new york. >> reporter: cronkite claimed the anchor chair of the "cbs evening news" in 1962. his coverage of the kennedy assassination and of the apollo program were touch stones of the age. his reputation continued to grow into the 1970s as he explained the watergate story to the troubled nation. >> when liddy refused to answer f.b.i. questions he was fired too. >> i shall resign the president see effective at noon tomorrow. >> reporter: he even had a hand in the middle east peace process by engaging first and we are sadat. >> how soon are you prepared to go? >> in the end, let us sit together around the table and
talk peace. >> reporter: and then mahatma begin in a series of satellite interviews to agree to meet face to face. and the camp david accords were born. this business about being the most trusted man in america, poll after poll was taken. it always worked out the same way. why do you think that happened? >> i really do think it's mostly because i was the face hanging out there on cbs news. cbs news had established such a reputation, such a dominant reputation by the time we were getting into television news. and i was the anchor person. that i think that all of that history of performance by cbs news, trust worthy news, presentation, rushed off on me. >> osgood: after all that, it may sound hard to believe that walter cronkite was once discouraged from getting into broadcasting in the first place. tell me about harfield weeden. >> he was my first boss in a sense. the program manager of a station in austin, texas,
where as a student at the university i auditioned for the announcer's job. and harfield rejected me practically out of hand. with the immortal words, walter, you'll never make a radio announcer. >> this is the "cbs evening news" with walter cronkite. >> good evening. >> osgood: happily cronkite ignored that bit of advice and went on to interview president after presidentment he said the one he knew best was lyndon johnson. >> i had known him for a very long time. i had met him when he came to the texas legislature. i was covering that way back when. >> whatever price the communists paid for this offensive, the price to the allied cause was high. >> osgood: it is said when lyndon johnson saw some of your reporting from vietnam, he told whoever was watching with them that if we've lost walter, we've lost america. >> well, what he saw was an aberration. the only time in my full
nearly 20 years of "cbs evening news" anchoring did i ever give a personal opinion. the vast exaggeration of our successes out there. we decided that maybe a little guidance might be helpful. a little personal opinion. we knew it was a chance we were taking in violation of all the rules of the game. >> it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate. >> osgood: did he ever take you to task for that later. i know you got to know him well. >> you know, never personally but by indirection he did. we have it on tape. it was part of the program when i did his memoirs later on. he said "and you know that tet offensive, people came out of the woodwork..." >> because immediately the voices just came out of the holes in the wall and said,
"let's get out. that's what ho chi min had been trying to do all the time. >> kind of looked at me "people came out of the woodwork" and criticized our offensive. obviously that was a little bit of finger shaking right under my nose. without naming me specifically. >> osgood: more than once, walter, it was suggested to you that you should have run for office. indeed possibly run for president. were you ever tempted to do that? >> no, i was never tempted. i hope the day never comes when a nationally prominent anchor person or reporter on the air is tempted to run. >> osgood: why? >> because if that ever happens, the public will have every right to question every other news person on the air as to whether they have in the back of their mind political objectives. therefore, they are skewing the news to build a platform
for some time in the future. that would be a terribly dangerous situation. just one more nail in the coffin of believability. >> osgood: you talked a lot about responsibility and what a reporter should do. this business is also fun. isn't it? did you not enjoy all these years of being a reporter? >> oh, my gosh, enjoyed it immensely. i went to work every morning absolutely delighted to get there. i could hardly wait to get there. for the first time in history, more people live in cities than anywhere else. which means cities have to get smarter. new york has smart crime fighting. paris has smart healthcare. smart traffic systems in brisbane keep traffic moving. galway has smart water. smart meters in dallas, houston... and a smart grid in copenhagen keep energy flowing. smart ideas are happening... all over the world. i want to bring them all together in your city.
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>> many years ago when i first became president of the cbs television network my secretary buzzed me and she said, "walter cronkite is on the phone." i was thrilled. i knew i had finally arrived. i was talking to a legend. i was talking to babe ruth. for many years on the 19th floor of black rock, cbs's headquarters in new york city, walter and i shared a floor. a couple of times a month he would walk down to my office or i would walk down to his and we'd talk about the network news, the network, life in general. what a great guy. there's a reason walter cronkite was the most trusted man in america. he had honor, he had integrity, and when he spoke people believed him and they listened to him. i am so proud that walter cronkite represented the cbs family. he was the best america had to offer.
i'm so proud to have known him. my friend george clooney and i have been emailing the last couple days. george and his father nick were very close to walter. george's last email was, "i don't want to live in a world without walter cronkite." amen. >> osgood: from lesley moonves, president and ceo of cbs. as you can imagine for all of us here at cbs news who worked in the studios over on west 57th street in manhattan for the past five decades walter cronkite cast a giant shadow. i'm joined by harry smith this morning. harry whenever walter would come back into this building even in his later years there was a huge buzz in this place. he was an extraordinary presence, wasn't he? >> smith: especially for me because i remember as a kid, like a lot of other people in america in my house my father would come home from a job driving truck all day, sit down with the chicago daily news and watch walter cronkite. it was almost like a sacrament. and when the news was finished and walter cronkite would say,
"and that's the way it is" my mother would pop into the room and we could finally sit down and eat dinner. >> mason: great story. harry, while we have you, what's ahead on face the nation? >> smith: we're going to talk about health care this morning. we have charles rangel and orrin hatch and then on the back half of the show more remembrances of walter cronkite with john glenn, bob schieffer, and his story... and his storeian doug brinkley. >> mason: ahead now here on sunday morning. >> they didn't call walter the most trusteded man in america for nothing. >> mason: singing his praises.
>> the headlines say it all. walter cronkite's death has touched millions of people both within the news business and without. many have spoken of their admiration for america's anchorman. we want to take a few minutes now to share some of their thoughts with you. beginning with president obama. >> in an industry of icons walter set the standard by which all others have been judged. he was there through wars and riots, marches and milestones, calmly telling us what we needed to know. >> good evening. >> couric: he was an anchor in every sense of the word. he kind of put things together, made sense of this crazy world around us. >> you've got to do your damnedest to give your very, very best. to prove to walter that you belonged as a correspondent for cbs news. >> from dallas, texas, the
flash apparently official. president kennedy died at 1:00 p.m. central standard time. 2:00 eastern standard time. some 38 minutes ago. >> couric: he handled it as a human being first and an anchorman second. and i think in times like that, that's what you want. >> walter cronkite was the person who connected us all on that day. >> walter became not only everybody's anchorman. he was everybody's minister, priest and rabbi. he calmed america down. >> you really needed a voice of calm and professionalism and accuracy. america got that on the evening news with walter cronkite. >> i think that the day president kennedy died was the day that television news as we now know it was born for all
intents and purposes. and walter cronkite was a very important part of making it so. >> it established that when momentous events occur and the country is deeply shaken, they gather at the television set. that is sort of the national meeting place. >> this evening we told the story of america's biggest civil rights demonstration, how it began, how it went, what it accomplished. >> walter was one of the few people in a powerful position that got behind that and pushed the story. >> walter talked about this movement of the civil rights was not going to go away. it's not just a little minor blip. that this is a great social change. >> we have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the american leaders both in vietnam and washington to have faith any longer in the
silver linings they find in the darkest clouds. >> if we could have him say what he thought about vietnam but he also understood how isolating the white house can be and how people can get to the point where they don't hear discordant voices. he thought he knew what the truth was. he thought he had an obligation to tell it. >> he changes through the war overnight. because it was for that time period in general a young person's protest. it became everyone else's wrong war at that point. >> couric: here was the most trusted man in america saying this war is not right. >> it is remarkable that one anchorman, one reporter, one journalist, whatever, could really affect the political fate of the country. but they didn't call walter the most trusted man in america for nothing.
>> the other side of the man is if you see him on a boat, that's the other side of him. he's an explorer. that's why he loves the ocean and being at sea. >> 10, 9, ignition sequence start. >> terrific. you can feel it shaking. look at that rocket go into the clouds at 3,000 feet. >> there was no way of holding walter back on space. walter cronkite thought of himself as another astronaut. >> looks like a good flight. go, baby. >> the sheer boyish enthusiasm and the sense of wonder and exploration. >> walter would have killed to have been the first civilian or even the 10th civilian to go up. he absolutely loved people. i think that quality somehow came through in the broadcast that there was a real affection for people. >> a lot of people wanted him to run for office.
and he could have. >> america loved him. america had a love affair with walter cronkite. >> you know why? he was the best newsman. he was just dedicated to news. he really cared about what the news was. he thought it was important to tell it to the american people. it's that simple. >> this is walter cronkite. good night. has progress taken us to a better place? i'd say it's taken us for a ride. honestly, what thanks do we owe progress? we're up to our necks in landfill, and down to the wire in resources and climate change is out to get us. that's why progress plays no role inside post shredded wheat. here, we put the "no" in innovation. post original shredded wheat is still just the one simple, honest ingredient which naturally comes with vitamins, minerals and fiber. all we did was make it spoon size. did we go too far?
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